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Every Dollar For Herman Cain is a Dollar For Misogynism

By: jurassicpork Friday November 11, 2011 11:09 am

In the last six weeks, Herman Cain has raised a whopping $9,000,000 in cash, $2.25 million coming since the sexual harassment scandal broke on Politico late last month. At the rate the money is flowing from right wingers, Cain will have raised more money in this quarter than Rick Perry and Mitt Romney ($20,000,000).

To put it simply, Herman Cain is serving to remind the more perspicacious of us of just how silly politics can be and at how sometimes politics is a mere afterthought in a political campaign. A useful token for the Tea Bagger faction, Cain has helped bring out the worst in conservative voters. He showed it last night in Michigan where he actually courted disaster by making a joke in front of a live mic about Anita Hill, the law professor who’d alleged sexual abuse at the hands of future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. And at his last Republican debate, Cain drew cheers by referring to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “Princess Nancy.”

Indeed, the Anita Hill joke and the namecalling at the expense of the dignity of the former Speaker of the House drew both applause, cheers and raucous laughter, giving the appearance that the Republican base is misogynistic. Of course, that isn’t true. It just looks that way. And in politics, as with everything else, perception is everything.

So why has the perception of Herman Cain being a womanizer resulted only in unconditional support and nearly ten million dollars? Why hasn’t his campaign foundered on no less than five allegations? Largely on the strength of an affair with one woman, Bill Clinton’s presidency nearly ended three years early.

No one is talking about Cain’s ludicrous, <i>Sim City</i>-inspired 9-9-9 tax plan or his suggestion that we ought to electrocute Mexican immigrants like so many mosquitoes in a bug light or his insistence that bills should consist of only a couple of pages. No one’s even talking about his Chief of Staff Mark Block’s Cigarette Smoking Man impression diverting attention from Cain’s ridiculous platform.

Far from being the Teflon candidate, Herman Cain has become the Flypaper Candidate. The more dead flies that stick to him, the more bizarrely fascinating he is to behold. It’s the classic case of the sideshow grotesquery of American politics or what we can call the Palin Effect in which a candidate betrays oneself to be so outrageously unqualified for high public office that appeal to equally bizarre elements of the electorate, grossly, perpetuates and exists within itself.

As does laughter.

Election Day is almost a year away and we still have reams and reams of unbridled lunacy to look forward to from the right wing during the caucuses, primaries and especially during the convention. There’s still time to burn at the sideshow before the acrobats, clowns and elephants come lumbering out with their tired show.

But at some point, we as a nation have to wake up and realize that politics should not be the spectator sport that over half of us have made it. And if you progressive-minded people think that Herman Cain is too stupid, too ignorant, too unqualified and too morally corrupt to be President, allow me to take this opportunity to remind you that just 11 years ago, George W. Bush “beat” Al Gore with just 25% or less of the voting age population voting for him.

And to his unconditional supporters, I will say that it will take a lot more than resorting to name-calling and character assassination to prove that Herman Cain is fit to be standing where Barack Obama is right now and that every dollar for Cain is a dollar that subsidizes misogynism and mediocrity.


RIP Jon Swift

By: jurassicpork Wednesday March 3, 2010 6:12 pm

jon swift
I’ve had to say goodbye to three friends within the last six months. One was my UK friend Danny Taylor, the next our beloved cat Sweetie and now Jon Swift.

Via Tom Watson and Roxie’s World comes the sad news of, despite his year-long absence, the biggest loss in the blogosphere since the death of Steve Gilliard.

Jon Swift’s mother broke the news to us in the only way she knew how to: Buried deeply in the comments section of her son’s last, tragically brief post on the death of another friend. In it, she said,

I don’t know how else to tell you all who love this blog. I am Jon Swift’s Mom and I guess I’m going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my beloved son. Al was on his way to his father’s funeral in VA when he suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last breath. We have all lost a shining start who warmed our hearts, tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say. If you are on Facebook, go to organizations and join "Friends of Al Weisel, Unite!" It will give you just a taste of how special he was. Farewell, Jon (Al)

Jon/Al was a justly (in)famous blogger forged much in the same mold as Stephen Colbert. A faux conservative, his posts until March 12, 2009 excoriated the right in an always tongue-in-cheek manner that was subtle enough and never too over-the-top so as to fool many.

As with his literary namesake from the Age of Reason (I’m, of course, thinking of "A Modest Proposal" here), his conservative arguments sounded reasonable until you began paying more than cursory attention to them. At times, when I felt so inspired, I’d post in a similar vein but while I don’t fool myself into thinking I always made a good account of myself, Jon/Al perfected the voice of the faux, outrageous conservative.

But not so deep down at heart, he always sided with the little guy. While a liberal blogger par excellence, he never forgot the slight dealt to him and the rest of us B and C list bloggers at the hands of Duncan Black on the first week of February, 2007. He was the creator of Blogroll Amnesty Day, a truly Socialist Day to celebrate yourself and others if you weren’t an elitist A lister.

The kind of guy he was is perfectly described by how I found out about his passing last month: Noticing a hit I got from Jon’s site, I went right over there, hoping that he was posting again but found that his constantly updated blog list on his side bar listed my last post. Looking at some of the other posts by those on his list, I noted some of the headlines. "A Death in the Blogging Family." "RIP Jon Swift."

Even in death, the guy was still helping me out.

At the beginning of every year, Jon/Al also invited on his blog for people to submit what they thought was their best post from the previous year then post links to them. For the type of blogging he did, he was the acknowledged master and put most of us to shame.

In an ironically macabre postscript, and one I suspect Jon himself would’ve relished, his Advertise Liberally ad space lists his own death, linking to a brief post on it by Oliver Willis.

Goodbye, dear, dear friend. You will be so missed.

Blame the Parents, Not the Grandparents

By: jurassicpork Tuesday March 2, 2010 9:15 am

Unlike the rest of the liberal blogosphere, I don’t care if Cameron Reagan is the grandson of former President Ronald Reagan. President Reagan had no hand in raising his grandson and the two aren’t even related by blood.

I do care, however, that Cameron Reagan is the natural son of right wing talk show host and convenient evangelical Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is notorious for saying a lot of things, including one notable instance in which he said we should stick live grenades up the rectums of the children of terrorists then detonate them.

That’s why it is with some degree of schadenfreude I announce that career criminal Cameron Reagan, son of the aforementioned right wing talk show host and convenient evangelical Michael Reagan, is now a wanted man. A bench warrant for his arrest was put out after he skipped a court date for a November marijuana charge.

Yeah, there’s that, too. Reagan was pulled over last November and found to have marijuana in his car. You may recall back in January, Reagan was arrested after he became combative and belligerent with police officers the very night before his arraignment. How come we never see domestic disturbance calls like this on Fox’s Cops?

This is far from being an isolated incident. IMBD.com news said last January,

It is not the first time Cameron has been in trouble with the law – TMZ.com claims he served six months in prison in 1999 after he was convicted of receiving stolen goods relating to two car burglaries.

Another arrest in 2001 landed him in rehab and anger management class after police found a bag of marijuana on his person following a car break in.

Oh, those wonderful evangelical, conservative, Republican family values!

So, Michael, howz about we stick a live grenade up your son’s ass and save the LA DA’s office a lot of money and the LAPD a lot of grief?

The Party’s Over?

By: jurassicpork Sunday February 28, 2010 9:19 am

Not by a long shot.

Imagine a spring break in which tens of thousands of college students simply decided to extend their disorganized vacation and to take up permanent residence in Florida with, dare I say it, no exit strategy and no plan for the future.

That’s the Tea Party in the nutshell from which most of these maniacs have recently emerged.

It amazes me that even worthies such as Frank Rich, Paul Krugman and all the great writers in the blogosphere have yet to delineate the crucial and glaring differences between the original Tea Partyers in Boston Harbor in 1773 and the latter-day palimpsest that’s done little more than infect and infest the national discourse with incoherent screaming and kneejerk opposition to anything that smells like the Potomac.

The Tea Partyers in 1773 were protesting a new tea tax by the British, which would’ve seriously hurt many tea merchants in the colonies but the destruction of the British tea were merely symbolic, a synecdoche touching on one of the biggest impetuses for rebellion and finally revolution: Taxation without representation.

Unless you live in Washington, DC or happen to be in the LGBT community, this isn’t an issue anymore. The Tea Partyers of today are protesting taxation even with representation. There was no Boston Massacre in 1770 or any other that serves as a rallying cry for the maniacs who’d clumped together at CPAC last weekend.

The original Tea Partyers sought not anarchy but independence from a British tyranny and to establish the central American government that their so-called descendants wish to abolish with no clue and no plan for replacing with anything else.

There’s no real connection other than a tentative, ideological overlap between the Tea Partyers and the Republican Party. In fact, the GOP, with some very notorious and troubling exceptions, have been betrayed by the Tea Partyers, clueless as they generally are, as being out of step or completely oblivious with the concerns and fears of the American public. In fact, the Tea Party movement, if nothing else, has shown up the Republican Party to be an elite Ivory Tower Treehouse better than have liberal and progressive activists.

It’s easy to disparage the Tea Party movement when one looks at the often racist, misspelled and plainly clueless signage such as "Get Your Government Hands off my Medicare!" Yet it would be both politically and intellectually dangerous to completely dismiss out of hand the impetus behind their own mini revolution.

Despite Keith Olbermann’s dismissal of them being merely a small knot of angry white people, Tea Party activists actually cross age, racial, political and income differences as well as state lines. In fact, an offshoot of the Tea Party Movement has recently cropped up in, ironically, Great Britain.

As Frank Rich today accurately summarizes, the Tea Party reviles the Republican Party with nearly the same intensity as they do the Democratic Party and Obama administration. The Tea Party movement seems to represent the actual and justified angst, disillusion and disaffection with established government as a whole.

But that, too, would be as big a mistake to make as dismissing them outright. They do not speak for progressives who, while being superficially sympathetic with the cynicism of the Tea Party movement, are not advocating the abolition of the IRS or the Federal Reserve or the entire government as a whole.

While often falling far short of championing and upholding democratic ideals in its 234 year history, the Great Experiment that is our republic has also nonetheless served us admirably well and, until the rise of the Bush administration, was the envy of the world. During those 234 years, our government served to depose real tyrants and to help more vulnerable countries with humanitarian aid and advancing the ideals of democracy while establishing at home the highest standard of living on the planet earth.

The answer is not to abolish the central government or our entire tax revenue base. And it’s pointless to have to say aloud what the consequences of such an action, even were it feasible, would entail. But from a national security standpoint alone, the secession of even one major state (such as Texas, for instance) let alone the dissolution of our federal government, would make us more vulnerable than ever to terrorists, hostile nations and fifth column operatives.

To say nothing of what we spend on actual national defense, Medicare and Medicaid, S-CHIP, Pell grants for our young adult students, highway and bridge renewal, public school and state universities, and countless federal grants that partly if not wholly subsidize the renewal of our infrastructure and providing jobs and, yes, that evil tax revenue.

Obviously, the Tea Party movement, giddy over its newfound notoriety and having captured the ears of several elected officials, hasn’t thought beyond what would happen if the American central government suddenly disappeared or was overthrown in a highly improbable coup de etat.

We liberals and progressives, despite the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004, have yet to lose faith in the power of the ballot box or in the enduring potential of the democracy that guides our Republic.

The Tea Partyers have.

I Can’t Believe I H8 the Whole Thing

By: jurassicpork Friday February 26, 2010 3:00 pm

A post-Prop 8 California resident who’s somewhat of a public figure expressing intolerance for gay marriage is bad enough. It’s akin to kicking a man while he’s down. I’ll stop short of using as a metaphor Matthew Shepard and Allen Schindler but if my liberal readers wish to extend that metaphor, please feel free.

It was bad enough when professional airhead and wouldbe porn star Carrie Prejean came out last year swinging against gay marriage. The backlash against Prejean no doubt surprised many conservatives and all the former Miss California did was reinforce not America’s ongoing prejudice against the LGBT community but the stereotype that depicts all California blondes as bubble-brained bimbos (to see a smart, liberal and Christian exception to the rule, one need look no further than liberal blogger and actress Lydia Cornell).

But Lauren Ashley’s views went a step further than Prejean’s: Not only did she air out her support for traditional marriage (that is to say, betraying her bigotry against gays wishing to get married), she even quoted the Draconian Leviticus in the New Testament, especially the part in 20:13 (King James version) that says, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."

Fox "News’" website picked up on the story, coming this close to painting her detractors and critics as conspiracy-theory wackos but giving more time to her supporters in the National Organization of Marriage (NOM).